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Gregory Porter

55 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 02 March 2014

The jazz singer songwriter Gregory Porter, who has just won a Grammy Award for his album Liquid Spirit, discusses the inspiration for his music, why he likes to compose on the move and reveals he used to fantasise his father was Nat King Cole.

A new Ethiopian film entitled Difret is based on the true story of the abduction of a 14-year-old girl for marriage. Such abductions are part of the traditional practice of Telefa in which a man on horseback snatches up a girl and weds her. The film is based on the true story of the abduction of a 14- year-old village girl for marriage. She went on to sue her captor back in 1996. Jenny Horrocks talks to the director Zeresenay Berhane Mehari and the producer Mehret Mandefro.

Cultural critic Dasha Lisitsina explores the concept of Estrada - the surprisingly camp aesthetic of popular Russian TV shows. We meet Marusya, a Cossack Act, formed by West Africans studying in Russia. They were favourites on Russia’s TV talent show Minute of Fame, wowing the audience but enraging real Cossacks.

The BBC’s Mark Kermode holds an alternative film award ceremony every year and nominates the actors, directors and writers who he believes were overlooked by the Oscar judges. He awards the Saudi Arabian film Wajdja the prize for Best Film in a Language Other Than English. Wajdja is the first feature film ever to be shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and it is directed by a woman. It tells the story of a girl - Wajdja - who dreams of owning a bicycle so that she can race against her friend Abdullah. But cycling is frowned upon for girls and Wadjda’s mother refuses to buy one for her daughter. The director, Haifaa al-Mansour, explains how she got round the fact that women are not allowed to film on the streets of Saudi and tells us how her film helped to change the law so that women are allowed to ride bicycles.

Wu Ming is an Italian writers’ collective who perpetrate media hoaxes and pranks on a mission to expose lazy journalism and question the political establishment. Their book Q, written collectively, became an international bestseller. Lucy Ash went to meet them preparing for a performance in Turin, Italy.

The documentary The Standbys, gives a behind-the-scenes look at the Broadway understudies who are rarely seen by audiences. The film’s director, Stephanie Riggs, spoke about it on the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC radio in New York, along with Ben Crawford and Alena Watters, who are featured in the film.

Nick Grimshaw of BBC Radio 1 explores the world of online fans and how, with the help of digital technology and social media, they are now turning their fandom into a career.

Plus, the virtuoso flamenco-jazz guitarist Eduardo Niebla together with the classical guitarist Matthew Robinson play for the BBC’s Mary Ann Kennedy.

(Photo: Gregory Porter (c) Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty, Verka Serduchka (c) Johannes Simon/Getty, Eduardo Niebla (c) Gary Longbottom)

Music and featured items

20 items


Presenter Nikki Bedi

Nikki Bedi

Nikki curates, writes and presents The Arts Hour. Find out about her other work.

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